A micro-assembly technique for microstructures using a silicon clip mechanism is developed for a time-of-flight scanning force microscope (TOF-SFM) probe with an electrostatically driven actuator. Microsprings formed by deep reactive-ion etching are used for the clip micromechanism. Cantilever-shaped microelements for the TOF-SFM are handled by a manipulator, and the microgap between the microspring and opposite wall is expanded by pulling the microspring using a microneedle. Then, the microelement is inserted into the micromechanism, and is clipped by releasing the microspring. After assembly, all microelements are fixed with a conductive glue. Electrostatic actuation of the cantilevered microelement is demonstrated. This technique is advantageous in the fabrication of complex three-dimensional microstructures.
- Electrostatic actuator
- Scanning force microscopy